Installation shot of Alyson Shotz’s Allusion of GravityPhoto: Lee Stalsworth
The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.
The structure of this sculpture is inspired by looking at diagrams of space, mass, and how they interact to create the gravity we experience. I hope to allow the viewer to think about space in a different way: what is empty space, what does it look like, what shapes can it take?
Allusion of Gravity is made with clear, round glass beads which reflect the light and let the sculpture transform with the changing natural light during the day. Each bead also acts as a magnifying glass for all the other beads, creating many mini-sculptures within the larger sculpture.
Allusion of Gravity is one version of what I imagine empty space to be like. It was my first sculpture exploring the structure of space itself, and began a series I am still working on today.
Artist Jill O’Bryan and team install her work one billion breaths in a lifetime on the corner of 21st & Q Streets, NW, right outside the museum (listen close for the answer to the question in this blog post’s title!).
When I stepped into the room, I was overcome with the sweet fragrance. I actually smelled it before I saw it, walking up the stairs. The first thing I thought of was tea. Tea with honey, of course. Then my mind wandered to exotic travels, steaming hot summers, and spices. I was reminded of nature, damp winters, feather comforters, biscuits (the English kind), and Christmas.
In short, I felt good when I stood in the Laib Wax Room. I even felt warmer being in that bright, small space.
Experiencing the Laib Wax Room. Photo courtesy The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
I read the wall label only after leaving the room and discovered that the artist, Wolfgang Laib, was profoundly influenced by his experiences in India and Southeast Asia. My initial thoughts tell me that my experience of the room was also influenced by travels abroad and memories that remain special.
Have you been to see the Laib Wax Room yet? What did it make you think of?